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Nigeria advances in African championship, CONMEBOL qualifiers begin today

Perpetua Nkwocha’s two first-half goals held up for Nigeria in its 2-1 win over South Africa today in Group A action of the African Women’s Football Championship. With the win, Nigeria became the first team in the AWC to qualify for the knockout round. Nkwocha now leads all scorers in the tournament with five goals in two games. South African central defender Janine van Wyk, who recently returned from an ankle injury, scored in the 45th minute for the host nation.  In the second Group A game today, Mali beat Tanzania, 3-2, eliminating Tanzania from the tournament. This leaves second place wide open for either Mali or South Africa. The two teams play each other Sunday, and the winner advances to the knockout round. Group B resumes play tomorrow (Nov. 5). Ghana can advance with a win over Cameroon, and Algeria gets eliminated if it loses its match against Equatorial Guinea.

Today in Ecuador, Argentia faces Bolivia and Ecuador takes on Chile in the first games of the CONMEBOL qualifiers. Group A also features Peru, which plays Ecuador on Saturday. On Friday in Group B, Paraguay plays Colombia and Brazil opens up against Venezuela. The fifth team in the group – Uruguay – plays Sunday against Brazil.

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